Predicting juvenile re-offending: opportunities and problems

Ilona Čėsnienė, Rita Bandzevičienė


The paper aims to discuss concerns and possibilities of risk assessment of young parolees. The main objectives of the study are: (a) to describe prevalent risk for re-offending factors and (b) to evaluate a target group on three psychological scales (sense of coherence, aggressiveness, and hopelessness), and to analyze inter-correlations and their prognostic value. The sample consists of 265 male delinquents (aged 15-21) who served their probation sentences under supervision at three Lithuanian correctional institutions. The data on individual, social and criminological factors (historical as well as current) was sought from personal files and 137 participants (52%) attended a semi-structured interview. Antonovsky's Sense of Coherence Scale (SOC-13), Beck Hopelessness Scale and Buss - Perry Aggression Questionnaire were used for psychological evaluations. The results show prevalence of some individual and social characteristics of the target group; linear regression analysis suggested historical variables as strong predictors for criminal conduct within young parolees; significant correlations between scores on coherence and scores on aggressiveness and hopelessness were confirmed, though moderate level of coherence was prevalent in a sample. Some insights and practical recommendations for risk assessment within this target group have been developed.


prediction of re-offending; risk assessment; juvenile parolees

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789